In Hatyai, Songkhla province, in the south of the country, near the Malaysian border, the Salesians run the school "Saengthong Vitthaya". Besides managing the school, its Director, Fr Bancha Kitprasert, is also involved in a very special educational mission: to teach Christianity to 11 Buddhist monks from Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, India and Thailand, all of whom are members at the international Buddhist school "Mahapanya Vidayalai", also in Hatyai.
Fr Kitprasert was invited to give lessons at the Buddhist school starting last January; this special task aroused joy and satisfaction throughout the "St Paul" Province of Thailand, because through this experience the Salesian and his pupils have begun a process of discussion, debate and comparison on the content of teaching and on the value of dialogue between religions, and thus they themselves offer a good example of openness and collaboration.
Another significant experience of the Salesians in Thailand takes place in Sampran, a special context on the national scene, for its much higher percentage of Catholic faithful, greater than the national average, and there are many institutes of various Catholic congregations.
In the district of Sampran - not surprisingly called "the Vatican of Thailand" - the Salesians animate the country's only formation house, and it is preparing to celebrate 40 years of activity on December 8th. The center houses, in a vast complex, three buildings, dedicated to Fr Rinaldi, Don Bosco and Domenico Savio, and welcomes prenovices, novices and post-novices also coming from Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
In the particular context of Sampran, the Salesians offer to the community, Catholic qnd non-Catholic, the most proper features of the Salesian charism, animating the only festive oratory of the Salesian Family throughout the country, a place which is crowded every Sunday by about 70-100 young people. Other initiatives carried out by the religious, especially by young people in formation, concern the organization of retreats, activities of Youth Ministry and vocational camps.